Ride # 8
Worked with trainer Tiffany Bongers as well as David Bongers today to reinforce Ricky's training exercises. Ricky got along well with the 5.75" French Snaffle I bought her. She likes to try to move out of a flex, so we had to keep flexing until she understood to stay still. We need to work on standing still and square.
Ride # 9
A very humid day, worked in the front pasture. Kerri Mulso was there, snapping video and pictures as well as advising. Worked on maintaining a steady connection. Hands low on withers, moderate rein tension. Ricky is trying to find the bit and the place to hold her head. A lot more connection today than ever before. Wrong lead to the left , with a simple change on the circle to correct was major goodness. Right lead was perfect. Ricky tends to kind of rush on when first asked, I will try to ask her more politely and see if it works. Only one big move to the gate today, had my whip on the wrong side when it happened. I'm going to set her up next time. Electrical tape is not working, adhesive is melting and sliding. Rode in my new tall boots today. Stiff!
Ride # 10
Moderately humid day. Bill is mowing across the way from our lesson. Worked right up by the road. No spooking at any of the cars, buses, or motorcycles that passed. A lot of trotting, circles at both ends with straightaways. Lost track of my diagonal, but was so caught in the moment of achieving a good rhythm, I just let it slide. Ricky has a great trot when she can relax into it, which is quickly, so there's hope for smooth transitions with a minimum of work. A little battle on the canter circles, but we caught both leads. Ricky is very stiff on her left side. Many attempts to give to the bit by throwing nose in the air and to her right. Flexed her left when this occurred. A few nice circles and then straight aways for rest time. Too many flies for much standing work. Ricky backed nicely. Canter left and right, with lots of speed at onset, but settling quickly into a nice rhythm. No moves to the gate. I moved my whip a lot, but did not use it.
Ride # 11
Used Lance's pasture for our work today, a tighter space to move around in. Lots of figure eights and circles with BIG trots corner to corner in straight lines for rest. Ricky is very good at going where you look. She's trying so hard and is so patient. Its a pleasure to work with her. No cantering today, the ground was too soft. Backed 5 steps nicely and semi straight. 40 minutes in the pasture and then a dismount, walk through the barn, mount and ride down the back fence line to look at the pond. A short spook at the scarecrow in the garden, but quickly regained confidence. We both thought it was funny. Red Vetwrap on reins worked splendidly. Good steady hands and light cues today. Must also start to sit up more and relax my elbows. Its nice to have a little time to work on these things as well as ride the horse. No moves to the gate or arguments about which direction to turn. Today was a good ride.